Bank sizing up acquisition targets as industry consolidates

The CEO of an Australian bank has revealed that the group is keen to grow its business through M&A as the mortgage industry experiences continued consolidation.

Announcing MyState Bank’s full-year profit results last week, chief executive Melos Sulicich noted that the lender has explored a number of M&A opportunities over the last 12 months “in line with the ongoing ambition to grow through industry consolidation.”

“We are interested in M&A and industry consolidation,” Mr Sulicich said. “We would like to be a part of that. We have looked at a number of opportunities over the course of the last couple of years. At this stage we have nothing final. We will continue to look.”

Earlier this month the bank informed the market via a trading update that it has held discussions with non-bank lender La Trobe Financial.

The smaller lenders have experienced significant consolidation over the last few years as pressure on margins forces mortgage providers to consider corporate deals in an effort to build scale and profitability.

Last year, listed non-bank lender Homeloans Limited acquired Queensland-based mortgage manager Barnes Home Loans, allowing the group to grow its loan book by $500 million.

Last month Homeloans announced a proposed merger with non-bank giant RESIMAC, a deal that would create a combined mortgage book valued at more than $13 billion.

More recently, Sydney-based Iden Group merged with Queensland’s Future Financial as the two mortgage managers look to build efficiencies and streamline operations.

[Related: Margin squeeze forcing consolidation]

 

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